Key Words: Op-ed from Reagan daughter Patti Davis reveals why she — and many victims — can’t remember details of their sexual assault

‘It’s important to understand how memory works in a traumatic event… That’s what happens: Your memory snaps photos of the details that will haunt you forever, that will change your life and live under your skin. It blacks out other parts of the story that really don’t matter much.’

Patti Davis

That’s author and presidential daughter Patti Davis writing in the Washington Post about her own sexual attack, about 40 years ago, by a prominent music executive.

As Davis details in the op-ed, an after-hours office meeting felt necessary, she thought, if she wanted a chance at building on the small success she’d had when the Eagles picked up her song “One of These Nights.”

She has a recollection of the cocaine the unnamed executive did, his stride across the room and his coffee breath. She remembers the force and the penetration. Other details, she writes, get absolutely fuzzy.

And Davis, who says she didn’t tell even those close to her about the attack for decades, says she still can’t answer this trio of questions: Why didn’t I get out of there? Why didn’t I push him off? Why did I freeze?

But she is speaking out now as the world learns more about college professor Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh when they were in high school over 30 years ago. Kavanaugh has denied the allegations.

Read: Kavanaugh accuser Ford accepts request to give Judiciary Committee testimony next week though details require more negotiation

Davis is one of thousands of women and men speaking out, her via the Washington Post, many as part of a viral social media push under hashtag #WhyIDidntReport — because I was 14; because it was my hero; because I feared no one would believe me — in response to President Trump’s tweet questioning why Blasey Ford or her parents didn’t engage the authorities at the point of her alleged attack.

“Ford wants the FBI to investigate so that some of the details she doesn’t remember can be established. It’s a brave request,” Davis writes. “Perhaps the aging men who are poised to interrogate her, unless they hide behind surrogates, should pause for a moment and think about the courage it takes for a woman to say: Here is my memory. It has haunted me for decades. It changed my life. You need to know about it now because of what is at stake for this country.”

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